Advo pitches ShopWise with national TV effort

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Leading direct-mail company Advo is launching its first-ever national advertising campaign next week as part of an overall rebranding strategy for its ShopWise cooperative mail product.

The ad effort, through TLP, Dallas, breaks Sunday with three 30-second TV spots on national cable networks including Food Network, Fox Family Channel and Lifetime Television. Two 60-second radio spots wll also air in local markets.

Advo, with $1 billion in annual revenue from shared and solo direct-mail services, announced the ShopWise brand name in January to reposition its more than a decade old Mailbox Values product. "While we are primarily a mail-delivery vehicle, in the new era of lots of media options the Mailbox Values brand name was a bit confining," said Chris Hutter, Advo's VP-investor relations.

The goal of the campaign is to increase the already strong readership and response levels for ShopWise, sent to 60 million households every week and containing coupons and advertisements from Advo's 24,000 clients, Mr. Hutter said.

Although it's rare for a direct mail company to use mass media vehicles, Mr. Hutter said, "Electronic media has always been traditionally geared toward brand building, and that's basically what we're trying to do here."

The TV spots, tested in two markets last year, show real, unscripted families instead of actors, and were shot in a documentary style by filmmaker Henry Corra of Corra Films, New York.

SHOWCASING SAVINGS

One spot shows a pregnant mother shopping with her family and highlights with screen lines the amount of money they save with the ShopWise mailer on groceries, the little boy's haircut, a video rental and furniture.

The spot ends with the ShopWise logo and tagline "How much did you save this week?"

Although Mr. Hutter would not reveal spending on the campaign, he send Advo is allocating "substantial dollars" to the effort. The three-week TV run will determine how Advo will proceed with future advertising, he said.

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